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North America

ISCB Affiliated Groups

ISCB Affiliates


Contact: Russell Schwartz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Geographical area included: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, and Wisconsin

Leadership Structure: Steering Committee:

Bruce Aronow, Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati
Tanya Berger-Wolf, University of Illinois at Chicago
Gary Bader, University of Toronto
Sorin Draghici, Wayne State University
Bruno Gaeta, University of New South Wales (Ex Officio)
Elodie Ghedin, New York University
Daisuke Kihara, Purdue University
Jundong Liu, Ohio University
Christian Schonbach (Ex Officio)
John Parkinson, Hospital for Sick Children
Predrag Radivojac, Indiana University
Russell Schwartz, Carnegie Mellon University (Co-chair)
Tandy Warnow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lonnie Welch, Ohio University (Co-chair)

GLBIO 2019 Program Chairs:

Anthony Gitter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chad Myers, University of Minnesota
Sushmita Roy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

GLBIO 2019 Publication Chairs:

Sarath Chandra Janga, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Tijana Milenkovic, University of Notre Dame

GLBIO 2019 Poster Chairs:

Layla Oesper, Carleton College
Catherine Putonti, Loyola University Chicago
Guenter Tusch, Grand Valley State University

GLBIO 2019 Sponsorship Chairs:

Serdar Bozdag, Marquette University
Shaun Mahony, Pennsylvania State University

Total Organization Members: 277

Goals: The Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium strives to enhance educational opportunities and research infrastructure throughout the region, to make the Great Lakes a world leader in bioinformatics and to facilitate new discoveries in data-intensive biological research. The Consortium has chosen to center its activities on the Great Lakes Regional Bioinformatics Conference (GLBIO), and to accomplish its goals as an affiliate society through that meeting. This includes providing a venue for regional scientists and other interested attendees to meet and share research results, providing a platform for discussion on topics of shared interest through conference activities and special sessions, and providing opportunities for students to present their work at a local scientific meeting and interact with other scientists and potential future employers.

Brief history: Over the past decade, there have been 3 independent initiatives that have culminated in this proposal to form the Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium. Starting in 2002, there was a Michigan based "Great Lakes Bioinformatics Retreat" that was sponsored and hosted by the Michigan Center for Biological Information (MCBI) a Michigan Life Science Corridor funded initiative led by Dr. Brian Athey. This program held yearly retreats, from 2002-2006, with keynote speakers, and student oral presentations; the locations were primarily in Michigan. There was a board of directors for a proposed Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium that first convened in August, 2004 and consisted of representatives from most of the great lakes bioinformatics programs which are outlined in this proposal. The Consortium did not reach critical mass, and may have been too Michigan-centric; however, there remains a strong interest in regional networking and collaboration and professional engagement.

A second initiative is the Midwest Symposium on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. MSCBB is an ongoing conference series, which held 1-day meetings in Illinois in 2007 and 2008, attracting over 300 attendees. The meetings included keynote speakers, invited talks, and student poster presentations. Merit based student poster awards were given during the meetings. Registration fees were waived, to encourage the participation of students. Future meetings are planned. The MSCBB Chair is Prof. Ping Ma of University of Illinois, and the conference committee consists of faculty from universities in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

A third initiative was created in Ohio. Ohio researchers, educators and industry leaders collaboratively organized the annual Ohio Collaborative Conferences on Bioinformatics (OCCBIO), with its inaugural meeting in June 2006. In August 2007, the OCCBIO conference leadership formally united to form the Ohio Bioinformatics Consortium; OBC leveraged the existing statewide research community to enhance Ohio’s role in bioinformatics education and research. In May 2008 the consortium was awarded $9M from the University System of Ohio and 12 academic institutions. The funds provide scholarships for five years to hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students who study bioinformatics in universities across the state of Ohio.

The Great Lakes Bioinformatics Consortium devotes itself primarily to running the GLBIO conference, which occurs annually with some exceptions. The meeting serves as an annual meeting for tutorials, oral and poster presentations of new research. The meeting will also serve as an informal communication and networking forum for professional development of members (faculty and students). We believe that by bringing together the Great Lakes bioinformatics community on a regular basis, many new initiatives will be born. It was decided that the meeting would be canceled when ISMB is in the Great Lakes Region (2018 and 2020) in favor of a virtual presence at ISMB.

Activities and programs that demonstrate the advancement of bioinformatics and computational biology:
The Consortium's activities are centered on the GLBIO conference. Information on the last GLBIO can be found here:


Last Updated February 12, 2020

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